Top 10 Exam Survival Tips

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Exams are stressful for everyone. Whether you’re in your first or final year in Uni, we’re all familiar with the stress, anxiety and sometimes even panic that comes along with exam revision.

Don’t stress out. We asked our execs to share a couple of their best studying tips that will help you get through your exams (and keep yourself sane during this hectic period!).

1. Start your day early 

Start early in the morning. Beginning your revision day around 8-9am means that you have a full morning and afternoon of revision. By starting early, you’ll be able to put in a full 7-8h of revision in your day, and be done by 6pm easily. Plus, that means that if you feel like you’ve worked well during the day, you can stop and chill during the evening as you’ve had a productive day.

– Luca, 2nd Year Management

First hint for the freshers is to get to library at 8:30 to get a good spot, where no one will be walking around. Having a good and quiet study space worths more than an extra hour sleep in the morning. Although, a power nap in the afternoon is still an option. 

– Yan, 1st Year Computer Science

2. Get organised 

Write down everything you have to do, and then to make a plan of how you will get it done. Sometimes I notice that I get stuck on one module or one chapter in a textbook so I take my time and then I realise that I have a lot of other things to do. So it really helps me to put a mirror in front of me showing me where I stand by writing down everything I have to do, everything I have done, and trying to figure out how I will get everything done 

– Ella, 1st Year Accounting and Finance

3. Adopt a healthy routine

Getting enough sleep is crucial for brain development and your focus level throughout the day. There’s no point of overworking as this isn’t sustainable over the whole exam period. Running is something I do often during my exams, releases stress and meditation to unwind and it helps a lot with staying calm and focused

– Laure, 1st Year Management

4. Exercise

This might sound basic but exercise is probably my biggest tip. I go to the gym almost every day during Term 3. I actually make up the time I spend in the gym threefold afterwards when studying. You get so much more energy and it’s a great way to get the day started. 

– Leo, 3rd Year Management

5. Give yourself a break 

Divide your working session by slices of 2/3 hours. My experience taught me that you are more effective this way. By doing only one module over the day you are more likely to get saturated quickly and therefore having a reduced efficiency, but you are also more likely to retain the information in a less productive ways. Working only for 2/3 hours on a module will allow you to be correctly focused all the time but it will also leave you time to process the information better. The next time you work this module read what you did the previous time quickly, usually you retain information much better this way, plus after 2/3 hours it is good to take a break 

– Nico, 3rd Year Management

6. Make use of Colours

As I am a highly visual person I find it useful to summarise whole lecture handouts within one sheet of A4 paper that way the most important contents of a subject are not dispersed and I can access all of it quick and easy. Also I use a lot of colour coating to help boost my visual memory. Using different colours of markers for formulas, theory etc.

– Elitsa, 2nd Year Management

7. Work Smart, not hard

Approach the exams like a game. It’s about knowing how to play your cards right, it’s not because you see someone working their asses off that they’re using the right strategy. I always like to assess for myself how I’d like to approach the exams in the most efficient and smart way

– Laure, 1st Year Management

8. Practice, practice, practice! 

Past papers are your best friend. Leave at least a week before your exam to go through all of the past papers (especially for Financial Accounting)! Great for pinpointing your biggest areas of weakness to go back to and improve on. 

– Egor, 2nd Year Management

9. Make studying fun!

My study tip is to try to make studying as fun as possible – I do this by using a lot of colours in my notes, by listening to music I love , and by sitting down with friends and taking breaks together. This way it makes the studying experience a bit less painful

– Ella, 1st Year Accounting and Finance

10. But try not to have TOO much fun…

Don’t work too close to your friends. I know this sound boring, but it is critical, like it or not your friends are the worst kind of distraction and you don’t want them to be responsible of you having to come back in September for resits. My advice here is to find the place you are the more comfortable with, but don’t seat to close to your friends. Like this you can focus for longer periods (2/3hours) you can always join them for a break at the end of a long working time but having them too close all the time will reduce your productivity but it also gives you incentives to take more frequent small breaks. 

– Nico, 3rd Year Management

At the end of the day, remember that exams are not the be all and end all – they are just one aspect of your student life here at Uni.

Now go forth and conquer your exams!